By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN
The House plenary has formally elected Deputy Speaker and Capiz Rep. Fredinil Castro as the chamber’s new Majority Leader Floor Leader.
During Monday’s plenary proceedings, outgoing House Majority Floor Leader and Camarines Sur Rep. Rolando “Nonoy” Andaya Jr. formally nominated Castro as his successor to lead the majority coalition who is also the chair of the Committee on rules. Andaya’s motion was immediately seconded by lawmakers present on the floor.
Andaya said Castro has always been his “first choice” to become the head of the majority bloc following the July 23 leadership scuffle which led to the election of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo as the country’s first female House Speaker.
“I would like to nominate my first, original choice as Majority Leader, the great but gentle Fredenil “Fred” Castro of the second district of Capiz as the new chairman of the Committee on Rules,” said Andaya.
Andaya stressed that Castro “fits the role” as leader of the majority bloc as “he rightly sees the position for what it really is: Not about power nor perks, for there are none, but for the diligence and the diplomacy and the work it requires, of which there are many.”
“He may have gone to the wrong law school but still I nominate this famed law professor, this feared trial litigator, this be medaled sportsman, this veteran lawmaker, whose sartorial style is as elegant as his oratory, as the chairman of the Committee on rules,” said Andaya.
Currently in his second term as legislator, Castro previously chaired the House committee on electoral reforms during the 16th Congress and also served as vice chairman of the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET).
Castro, president of the National Unity Party (NUP) graduated cum laude at the San Beda College of Law in 1975.
The Capiz solon served as the acting Majority Floor Leader during the July 23 House coup d’état which led to the removal of then Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, with Andaya acting as the presiding officer during the controversial leadership scuffle.